US Open Taekwon-Do Tournament
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Just in Orlando international airport sending this from the wifi.
Everyone looks ready to go home...
After our lil celebration on sat night everyone was a little jaded once Sunday came around...
We still made it to renowned waterpark blizzard beach.
Got a little sunburnt, chilled out. Big slides. Good times.
Quiet one last night and then a lil shopping at a typically massive American mall before coming to the airport. A little retail therapy never hurt anyone.
Off to board now-thanks to everyone for tuning into our adventures.
We are grateful for the support and are totally looking forward to next time.
This will be my last update for the trip so...
Over and out from kane, chris, luke, mark, mr pellow and myself.
Looking forward to getting back to that great nz weather ;)
sorry this update took so long if you've been hanging out to hear how we got on. Yesterday was a huge day where we competed in the "world continental team sparring championships in the morning from around 8-12 noon and then came back to compete in individual sparring events in the evening. We fought two teams in the morning's event. Because of the fickle nature of the wifi I'm piggybacking on I'll explain a little at a time. Might be a lil fragmented though sorry...
its either wifi on my iPod touch and slow typing or $10nz for ten mins Internet on a computer here. Good old Disney! Anyway on with the report.
our first opposition was argentina. Senior male team sparring world champions. In this event micro and light fighters had to fight off first so Mark trotter began with well timed axe and hooking kicks coupled with quick hand combinations that proved too fast for his opponent. Win to mark and a great start for nz. Now for the lightweights, where chris broughton took on world cup silver medalist serrano (spelling?). This fight became an intense hustle for distance and was neck and neck the whole way. Draw. Next fight saw us put up our third fighter, we chose ever elusive kane baigent for his adaptabilty against their heavyweight viceworld champ jonathon Batista. Kane moved exceptionally well and countered with excellent timing to frustrate but it wasn't enough to overcome a head kick landed by Batista late in the round. Win to Argentina.
next up we put in our hyper- luke Thompson. The argentinian coach hesitates and decides to put in "chino" (not sure if that is his first or last name!). Luke fights hard and even knocks him down with the left hook of the tournament (shot bro) but decision goes their way. Nice work luke well fought.
now argentina put up ex jnr hyperweight world champ "dennis". Yours truly steps up. The judges give it to me 3 to 1 even though it felt like jumping in an icy cold pool against this aggressive fighter.
This leaves both countries with two wins and one draw.
a deciding match will decide who wins.
argentina put up their best - Batista. Trotts "you want him?" yup-I mean kinda do?... I get in and mix it with him and we both land some leather but I suspect he has it.
yes confirmed-argentina take the match.great chance for me to mix it with some of the best at my weight. The other guys felt the same.
so still we are stoked. We held the world champions to a draw. Could be worse!
now we will fight the winner of Vietnam vs Germany for bronze.
Germany defeats the less experienced ex-wtf Vietnamese side.
"so we're up against Germany.
as before first fighters up are micro and light. Mark trotter up first against german micro. Once again mark's downward kick serves him well and the german has no answer. Win to mark - that training trip to Argentina must have paid off. Nice work bro.
Next up chris is pumped to have another fight against fighters of this quality but alas he is disappointed when a hobbling german lightweight takes to the ring without gear and a nursed right knee that looks to be in pretty bad shape. Default win to nz. We are now 2 up. The juggernaut is our next choice and he takes to the mat to win against another of the Germans making the score 3-0 and giving nz bronze in this 6 country tournament.
the team us pleased and in need of rest so we chill for the arvo and return around 5pm for "light continuous" sparring.
chris, kane and myself are entered with jugger and carnie there for support..
Chris is up first in a division where the referee is extremely strict on contact and gets very upset at anything other than actual touch contact. Chris makes his way through several wins before a close fight goes how opponent's way. Frustrating when someone wants to charge straight at you but you can't hit them even when they are intent on utilizing the infamous face block...
Kane's ref allows for somewhat more contact (a good level? Maybe? Quote heavy at points). He handles this well and takes 3rd-a particular highlight is him taking on a much bigger Jamaican Rastas opponent complete with "sweet dreads" who we'd seen destroy his last opponent. But kane pulled him apart and gave him a lesson in finesse. Served with beautiful timing. I like your work bro.
What about mr vr? Well, my division seemed to be a full contact one which was complete opposite of chris one... At least my opponent thought so... So we began trading big hits after he came out hard and to his credit very fast! His attempt to make me drop my... Um... Bottle however were unsuccessful and Some big hits later including a rear leg turning kick square to his face we were both disqualified!! Haha nice work vr if I do so myself. No consistency so just gotta adapt to contact level. after talking to ref I still swindled a third place trophy though.
So we ended as team bronze.
kinda like mars -proud to be no4.
Still it has been an awesome trip. Great to have mr pellow with us this time too. Hit a themepark today and been watching some finals qt the night of champions between struggling to write this emails by thumb on my iPod :D
Now for a bit of a celebration and Tommorrow we might hit a waterpark for our last day here in the sun.
Arohanui to all back home including my dad whose birthday I missed - hope you had a good one dad!
Thanks for reading-next update should be on our way home.
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"Howdy". Just seen my fair share of cowboy boots and hats.
Safely arrived in Dallas, Texas after our first two legs of the flight. Nice dry heat. Not like what I am anticipating in Florida.
So - Just one last flight to go. Local time it is around 4pm but feels like 9am of course. Just had some kai and gonna board in another 40min or so.
While hours of shut-eye achieved on the way to LA by my team-mates varied from 5-6hrs to non-existent everyone is in high spirits and looking forward to some R&R when we arrive in Orlando for sure.
Nothing too eventful to report from our trip so far. I was trying to think up some exciting story but don't really have anything for ya'll...
If you haven't experienced it recently though - US customs are fun!
They seem to up the number of finger prints and scans they do each time I come through... guess our group DOES look a bit dodgy.
Security guard 1:
"What kind of sport team are these guys anyway?..."
Security guard 2:
"Let's see... a hyper muscular dark one, a tall lanky one, a carnie one..."
Security guard 1:
"...maybe they do competitive circus routines?"
Security guard 2:
"Yeah! That would make sense. That's gotta be it."
...Anyway! today we had all four fingers on right, thumb on right, all four on left and thumb on left and then a little photo shoot for border control officer "Garcia" who was actually a really cool guy.
Couldn't help asking Steve if he felt like a real criminal now considering we got him to wear his "criminal hood."
Finally I just thought I'd also just confirm / amend our return time as:
WEDNESDAY 8 JULY at 730pm rather than Tuesday at that same time as per my last email.
Oh - and I hear you ask
"did I get my heroes farewell at the airport that I wanted?..."
"What do you mean my mum doesn't count?!" :D
Peace out from Dallas, Texas
"Mid-winter greetings ITFNZ and friends - Carl VR here.
Just preparing for our whirlwind trip to muggy (temp predicted 40 degrees C) Florida tomorrow so I thought I'd let "ya'll know" that while I'll be doing my best to send updates from my cumbersome yet convenient iPod touch browser from airports, cafes and whatever other wifi facilities I can scam in the deep south below the US "bible belt" I'm not sure how much info I'll be able to get back to ya'll.
Let me explain... last time we attended this tournament in Mid-2007 it was not only a crazy trip to cram into less than a week with people trying to cut weight and stay sane while flying east but it was also very VERY difficult to access the internet from anywhere within the 'prison-break' confines of Disney World... Big brother (Mickey mouse) is watching you...
My dad reckons it is all a Disney-conspiracy to keep you focused on spending time and money on what is really important guys... theme parks and useless Disney paraphenalia!! Yay!!
Gets me all on edge. Or am I just paranoid?... "Can't trust... ANYONE!... Hey bro - Why does that guy in the Donald Duck outfit keep looking at me strangely?!!"
Ok - I'll stop with the paranoia until we get there.
In the meantime, below is an outline of our 'glamourous' itinerary for your 'perusal'.
At this point I gotta make a choice - sit next to my angry lighter-weight team-mates who will be hypoglycaemic (low on blood sugar) and developing "AHS" (Angry Hungry Syndrome) or sit next to Luke (AKA Juggerman) so we can both enjoy the bonding experience of struggling with our non-economy class friendly body types...
So without further delay, our travel plan:
So, final thoughts on the trip?
This time it won't just be the boys and I running rampage through the States but we'll have Mr. Steve Pellow as Coach along for the ride... to rampage with us. Right Steve?
Now don't tell him, but we even got him what he would describe as 'one of those criminal hood tops' with 'COACH - STEVE PELLOW, NEW ZEALAND NATIONAL TEAM, US MARTIAL ARTS OPEN 2009'. Now just gotta get him to wear it...
So it should be good times and we have EVEN taken an extra day in Florida so we might actually have enough time to drag our fatigued (or hallucinating due to sleep-deprivation in the case of jeremy Hanna last time) bodies to a theme-park to which we never made it to last time! Can't wait.
I'll keep you posted whenever I can for sure - but things will no doubt be very sporadic and may come through as clipped sentences with *gasp* txt language abbreviations...
So I apologise in advance for not maintaining my 'usual high level standard of well constructed literary genius' that you see on the pages before you.
Just quietly... I'm secretly expecting a heroes farewell at the airport tomorrow *cough* but also realise that I may have come off slightly ungrateful with the tone of this last blog regarding our boys trip...
So let me clarify to you that we COULD NOT be more proud to be representing ITFNZ, Aotearoa and 'ya'll' over in (to quote Borat) - the US and A.